PageFair, the anti-ad-blocker, was hacked and admitted to allowing more than 500 websites using their service to become vulnerable to a malware attack which may have infected the browsers of many visitors to the affected websites during Halloween. PageFair CEO attempted to explain the situation and took full responsibility for the security lapse in an important blog post published Sunday on the PageFair company website.
F-Secure, a leading data security consulting firm has stated that the remote access maleware installed by the attacks included Nanocore, a malware package that can log password entries, initiate webcam snapshots surreptitiously, and opens a connection to a portal server under the control of attackers which allows them to receive data from the infected devices or to send additional instructions to the infected machines.
It is believed that a large percentage of connections to the attacker’s servers failed. It is also worth noting that the NanoCore malware runs only on Windows, so people visiting on devices running other operating systems were immune to the entire attack. That caused Mr. Blanchfield to estimate that only 2 to 3 percent of visitors to the 501 affected websites during the attack were at risk of being infected. Unfortunately for PageFair, the negative press from this sort of attack will be far reaching, and the irony that a service designed to help ads reach ad-blocked users is the same one that hackers used to pop-up and ad for malware is unlikely to be lost on anyone.
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